Gabriel Buttigieg (b. 1993) is a visual artist based in Malta, whose creative range spans from drawing and printmaking, to large-scale paintings. His artwork reflects primordial themes, often conceptualised within a Mediterranean or tribal context. Gabriel has successfully attained a Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Malta. His dissertation explored the notion of death and its consequent anxiety, themes which are ever present in his visual art. He has also studied at the Faculty of Education, and is currently reading for a Masters in Fine Arts by Research at the University of Malta. He was also nominated for the ‘Young Artist of the Year’ award by the Arts Council in Malta and throughout the years has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in countries such as Italy, Poland and The Netherlands.
A quote that inspires you
Considering that I hold a myriad of different views about life which are often paradoxical in themselves, it would be folly to hold on to a particular motto for living life. I live in the moment, respecting the past and in anticipation of the future.
How do you work?
My favourite medium is painting, and my work is simply a testimony to all the artwork I have ever been witness to. I always work in series, and I deliberate on themes before I engage in the studio. My work is diverse, a projection of my own self. I work both on large-scale and smaller paintings, as well as sketches.
What themes do you pursue through your paintings and drawings?
I choose to work with universal themes, such as angst, sensuality, elation, and despair. I study and paint people and their states of minds, their drives and their impulses. I am particularly intrigued with the female, in all her totality. I have also recently started to paint animals, which I find to be totally captivating, as it has opened up another world which I knew little of.
I was introduced to art by my father, Alfred Buttigieg, who has encouraged me in my endeavours since my early childhood. In fact, with me, it has never been anything but art, which he perceptively picked up and guided accordingly. Art is what gives me life, what shapes me, what marks me, and that for which I wake up every morning.
What is your dream project?
My dream project would involve an exhibit with contemporary artists who I admire. So many artists inspire me and leave their mark on my work, and it would be such an honour to exhibit in tandem with these masters.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would urge my younger self to persevere and never give up. While talent and skill are of utmost importance in any art form, the daily dedication and commitment to one’s chosen craft is what actually makes the difference between the mediocre and the sublime.
Favourite/most inspirational place and why?
My favourite space is my studio, which I have fashioned to mirror my personhood. It is a reflection of my inner self, the sacred area wherein I constantly reinvent myself and my art. It is in this dimension that I am at my best and wherein I can create without limits.